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July 22, 2011

Johanns Welcomes State Department Pipeline Meetings in Nebraska

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today applauded the U.S. Department of State for scheduling two public meetings in Nebraska on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The Department announced today it will hold meetings in September in the capitals of each state through which the pipeline route is proposed. The Department will also hold an additional meeting in the Sand Hills region, a meeting Johanns specifically requested in a June letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"The Obama Administration needs a first-hand look at where TransCanada is proposing to put their pipeline," Johanns said. "I'm pleased they've agreed to visit the Sand Hills to wade through the Ogallala Aquifer and hear from Nebraskans."

The State Department has announced the purpose of the meetings is to "give individuals an opportunity to voice their views on whether granting or denying a Presidential Permit for the pipeline would be in the national interest and to comment on economic, energy security, environmental and safety issues relevant to that determination." It has also announced it will release its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in August.

According to the State Department, the release of its Final EIS will be followed by a 90-day review period during which federal agencies can provide input as to whether issuance of a Presidential Permit for the pipeline would serve the national interest.

The Department reiterated its expectation to make a final decision on the pipeline route by the end of the year.

Click here for a timeline of Senator Johanns' involvement with the Keystone XL pipeline.

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